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Hunger is a growing issue at colleges across the US. As more students from diverse backgrounds are entering college with hopes of creating a better future, many are struggling to support themselves and finish their degrees. Across the country, 1 in 5 students regularly skip meals, having to prioritize the other costs associated with college. More on those costs below.
The students facing the greatest hardships are those from low-income backgrounds, those who are undocumented, those who have children, first-generation college students, and former foster youth. Even students who have a job, participate in some kind of campus meal plan, or utilize other financial assistance like Pell Grants experience food insecurity.
Why Students are Hungry
Costly housing, transportation, textbook, healthcare and other living expenses coupled with the rising cost of tuition have created great financial obstacles for college students, particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds which our country has seen an exciting boom in enrollment.
Financial aid programs and scholarships designed for low-income students fail to cover the bulk of their needs.
Furthermore, working while in school does not eliminate the threat of food insecurity.
While additional forms of assistance like local food pantries and food stamps exist, many students don’t know these resources are available. Even if they do, there is a culture of stigma making many students feel embarrassed to take advantage of these services.
The Impacts of Hunger
Food insecurity has a number of destructive outcomes. Nutritional deficits pose a threat to a person’s physical health and wellbeing. Furthermore, dealing with financial challenges can cause stress, distraction and other negative emotional responses. In the case of college students, the experience of food insecurity can compromise their academic performance and path to college completion.
The Role of Swipe Out Hunger
The traditional resources provided by universities, local non-profits, and the government are not equipped to provide students with the level of support they need to succeed during this very critical time. Swipe Out Hunger is dedicated to partnering with Universities to provide comprehensive services to support the wellbeing of these students.
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Below are some articles and reports about campus hunger.
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